A New South Wales man passed in April, 2017, at the age of 79, leaving his estate to his youngest child alone, a matter which prompted another child and a former wife to apply for provision under the Succession Act 2006. Why did the deceased leave his estate to one daughter alone? The dead tell no tales, but the man’s third and final Will in evidence was duly executed and witnessed on 1 October 2007, leaving the bulk of the estate to the youngest daughter and probate was duly granted.
However, another daughter along with a former wife (not their mother) of the deceased felt they had been unduly deprived, and seeing as how the youngest daughter had already spent the funds inherited on credit card debt and paying back of personal loans, primarily, applied for provision to be taken from the Property remaining to the estate. The younger daughter insisted that the Property was required by her to house herself and her children. The matter was mere days from judgment when it was revealed that the younger daughter had sold the Property and relocated to Queensland, despite her former insistence that remaining in the Property was crucial to her well being and that of her children and their schooling.
The matter was urgently relisted as of 4 December 2019, and the value of the Property was the main item of contention. However, with $1,318,102.52 in distributable form (excluding parties’ legal costs) the true distributable value was determined to be $1,077,500. The Court did determine at such point that the applications by both the older daughter and the ex mother in law had merit.
Due to the size of the estate and the moral claims of the parties involved, the Court determined that the bulk of the estate should remain with the younger daughter, but that the other parties should have funds necessary to pay off their mortgages, and in the case of the former wife of the deceased, a small additional sum as a buffer against contingencies. Altogether the amounts taken from the estate were a mere $350,000, somewhat less than had been applied for, but enough to discharge the majority of debt in both cases and provide the aforementioned contingency for the ex mother-in-law.
If you seek help in contesting a Will, don’t hesitate to get in contact with Gerard Malouf and Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers. Our team can help you with inheritance disputes and applications, so reach out today.